- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state will hold a $40 million competition designed to spur research and development of independent power grids that would allow local communities to keep the lights on during power failures.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the New York Prize competition, which would award funding to companies or utilities that suggest the best ways to create so-called “microgrids.” Microgrids are small power systems that are able to function independently when storms or other emergencies knock out electricity.

Cuomo’s office says microgrids can help communities keep the power on for hospitals, schools, water plants and even homes when the main electrical grid isn’t working. They rely on local electrical generation including wind and solar power.

The competition is being launched this fall.

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